Welcome to the Skinny Pink Ninja!

25 Oct

My before and after photos. Before Weight/Size: 205 lbs / 16 | After Weight/Size: 140 lbs / 6

Hello and welcome to the Skinny Pink Ninja. This is a blog devoted to fitness, health and weight loss from the point of view of a “normal person.” I’m not a fitness professional, and I still eat ice cream and French fries. On June 25, 2009, I reached my goal weight. In 14 months, I had lost 65 pounds / 6 clothing sizes. I have kept it off for almost 18 months by utilizing the same methods I used to lose it: keeping a food journal and exercising regularly.

I’m here to tell you that it is never too late to lose weight and there are ways to accomplish it that don’t involve starving, pills or crash diets. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle change. I read once in one of my fitness magazines that if you want to lose weight, don’t go on a diet, make 5 simple lifestyle changes.

I had always been skinny my whole life. I could eat anything I wanted, not exercise and not gain weight. I was 5’7″ and weighed 120 lbs. When I was in college, I injured my lower back and had to take prescription steroids to manage the pain. This caused a 40 lb weight gain and it killed my metabolism. I didn’t know how to eat healthily since I had never had to do it. My weight stayed between 160 – 170 lbs most of the time, but it fluctuated whenever I went on the Atkins/high protein diet. On November 27, 2006, I was rear-ended in my first-ever car accident. I suffered a back injury and the arch in my right foot collapsed. During the next year while I attempted to recovery without surgery, I gained even more weight. On November 16, 2007, I had to have reconstructive surgery of my foot. That day I weighed in at 205 pounds and was a size 16.

I wasn’t able to walk for nearly 3 months while my foot healed from the surgery. I was depressed, discouraged and bigger than ever. I had decided once I was out of my cast and crutches, I would start exercising. My company lets you exercise 3 times a week in the company gym, which is a fantastic benefit. I didn’t want to face the diet part, however. I was in severe pain from my recovery process, and I didn’t want to add the pain of starvation on top of it. I figured some exercise would help a little.

My dad, who has battled weight his whole life, had started keeping an online food journal. He simply kept track of his food intake for a week to see how many calories on average he consumed. The following week, he cut 500 calories a day to try to lose 1 lb a week. He was successful in this and didn’t feel deprived or hungry because it was a slow, steady process. He suggested I try the same. I was scared at first of dieting, starving and never having ice cream again. But, this wasn’t painful at all. It was a challenge to make the time to record my food, but it was eye opening as well. I couldn’t believe how many calories were in my favorite snacks and foods. It definitely made me think twice about eating certain things.

I went slow with the process and gave myself 1 splurge day a week so I wouldn’t go crazy from deprivation and go on a binge. I also made some changes to my food habits. I began eating a healthy, balanced breakfast. Previously breakfast was a 7-11 Big Gulp and a doughnut or nothing at all. Now I was eating cereal, toast with peanut butter and yogurt. I weaned myself off of snacking constantly throughout the day, and I added a salad to my dinner every night. I always ate my salad first to fill up so I’d eat less dinner. I hate the taste of fat free salad dressings, so I compromised by measuring out 1 TBS of dressing every night. It was more than enough to season my salad and kept my fat and calories in check. I also started taking my lunch to work 3 – 4 days a week instead of eating out 5 days a week.

I would plan out my meals beforehand if I were going to a restaurant or fast food place. I would read the nutritional information before I went so I knew exactly what to order. This way I could still socialize with my friends and get a break during lunch, but I didn’t make poor choices. I kept dessert to once or twice a week instead of every day.

I worked out regularly going to the company gym 3 days a week. I eventually joined a gym so I could go a total of 5 days a week. I kept increasing my workouts every week.

I stuck to my daily calorie allotment, and adjusted it as I lost weight. I never once felt hungry or deprived. When I went on vacation, I ate what I wanted but went to the gym regularly on my cruise ship or in the hotel.

Fourteen months later, I had gone from 205 lbs / size 16 to 140 lbs and a size 6. I feel so good I can’t even describe it. I still get a rush when I go clothes shopping and everything fits. My love of fashion was reignited after my weight loss. I had given up when I was big because nothing fit or looked good on my body.

After my foot surgery, my podiatrist told me I could never run again. I had to stick to the elliptical, bike, stair stepper, but the treadmill was off limits. I worked really hard with my personal trainer to strengthen my leg and foot muscles. It took a long time, but this past September 12, 2010, I ran the Race for the Cure 5K. I cried when I crossed the finish line I was so happy. I ran the race in 40:06, which is a pretty long time for running, but I didn’t care. I did it when I was told I never would. I’m now doing another 5K over Halloween and plan to start marathon training in January.

This blog will provide advice, links, diet tips and exercise tips to help you along your way. Anyone can lose weight and it doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods and starving to death. This is a realistic way to get healthy and fit, not an extreme change that is impossible to keep up.

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7 Responses to “Welcome to the Skinny Pink Ninja!”

  1. thebettylife October 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    Wow you look great!! What a transformation. Your story is very inspirational, I will check back for updates 🙂

  2. Noel D. October 25, 2010 at 2:04 PM #

    Thank you! Your story is awesome as well. Congrats on your accomplishments.

  3. lenteaticepick November 5, 2010 at 11:11 PM #

    You are inspiring!

    • Noel D. November 6, 2010 at 6:47 PM #

      Thank you. 🙂 🙂

  4. Nishita November 6, 2010 at 11:08 AM #

    Wow! your photos are so inspiring. This year, I managed to lose 10 pounds only to see 5 creep back up again. Starting back on my exercise and diet regimen. Your pointers will definitely help, I am sure 🙂

    • Noel D. November 6, 2010 at 6:48 PM #

      Thank you and good luck! It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet, so it’s okay to fluctuate a bit. Just try to stay consistent most of the time with eating right and exercising regularly. A splurge once a week is okay, just not everyday!

  5. Kirtana K November 7, 2010 at 1:39 PM #

    Wow okay. I left a comment earlier about how I’m kicked about finding this blog because I’m a skinny girl wanting to be a designer and runner too. I only actually Read your blog just now, and I feel silly about the previous comment. Your story is inspiring. I’m glad you proved your doctors wrong 🙂

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